Green Vehicles

July 11, 2007 at 11:32 am | Posted in Current Topics, Geeking, Lifescape, Lifestyle, Technology | 1 Comment

The Electric Motorcycle

Named Enertia, this plug-in two-wheeler has a driving range of about 50 miles and a 0-30 mph time of 3.8 seconds



Clearly not a typical motorcycle, the Enertia has no fuel tank and no internal-combustion engine. Instead of being filled with gasoline, the Enertia is “fueled” by simply plugging it into any 110-volt outlet. Photo: Bruce Whitaker

Unlike electric motor scooters, the Enertia has plenty of power to keep up with traffic. Fuel storage for the Enertia consists of six 12-volt lithium-phosphate battery packs, which are exceptionally resistant to combustion. Photo: Bruce Whitaker

At the 100-percent power setting, Brammo claims a 0-30 mph time of 3.8 seconds—plenty of power for the urban jungle.

The Enertia will reach an 80-percent charge in two hours, and be fully recharged in three. Most cell phones don’t even charge that fast. Click to enlarge

To make the motorcycle strong and lightweight, Brammo uses carbon fiber for the bike’s chassis. The Enertia is a clean-sheet design, conceived from day-one as a two-wheeled, zero-emission, fully electric conveyance.Brammo has just begun taking online orders in the U.S. for a limited edition “Carbon” model ($14,995), set for delivery in the first quarter of 2008.

The Ashland, Oregon-based manufacturer—the same collection of motorheads responsible for bringing the road-rocket Ariel Atom to U.S. shores are the developers. On the green front, according to Brammo, this urban transportation tool can reduce a commuter’s carbon footprint by 92 percent. It is light and narrow, and practically maintenance-free.


The Plug-In Electric Car

A huge improvement over GM’s EV1 electric car, the Chevrolet Volt could travel 640 city miles if it comes together the way engineers have planned.



The lack of mileage range of pure plug-in vehicles has been the Achilles heel of electric cars and led to GM dropping its iconic EV1 electric car in 2003, as highlighted in Chris Paine’s 2006 movie documentary that was noted by many environmentalists

General Motors Corp., the Detroit-based automaker often maligned for not sticking with electric cars in recent years, showed off a newfangled electric car early in 2007 that could have lots of us clamoring for electric transport

The intriguing aspect of the Chevrolet Volt concept unveiled at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit isn’t that it can be plugged into an outlet, charged and then operate on electric power pulled from a substantial, onboard battery

It’s that the Volt also carries an onboard “engine” that, unlike conventional cars, is not connected directly to the wheels of the car. It’s there just to make electric power if the battery pack were to be depleted

Best of all, the onboard engine could be anything from a small, turbocharged gasoline engine that also can burn ethanol to a diesel engine burning biodiesel or even a hydrogen fuel cell

Current hybrids still rely primarily on gasoline engine power for propulsion. Electric power is only a supplement that kicks in now and then.

In contrast, the Volt relies primarily on electric power and supplements its electric power supply by creating electricity, when it has to, via the onboard engine

GM officials call this system E-Flex. While they caution that batteries need to be developed first that can handle the demands of the Volt, they’re excited about the considerable conservation of oil and reduction in car emissions that E-Flex could generate

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